Wednesday, January 18, 2017
( Dimly lit smoke filled room)
"Hello, I'm Ethan. And this is Cheryl. And we own a Subaru....It's been 4 months since our last Subaru Repair."
( Unseen monotone crowd voices) "Hello Ethan and Cheryl!"
We got the Silver Bullet back today....and the cause of all that mess was a cracked fuel pump. The remedy? Lots and lots of money!
But isn't that how it always goes with any car? I was happy that the fix would be so simple....But when they took it apart, the fuel pump assembly was also cracked and probably was the cause of the issue to begin with. So take the first quote and double it. What was I doing to do? I knew I couldn't fix it.
The fuel pump of all things. For several previous cars, I have had similar issues with low power and shuddering. I always thought it was a fuel pump issue and it never was. But Finally! I now know exactly what a faulty fuel pump feels like. ( Exactly like all those other issues....Spark plugs, rotors, distributors...etc.) Bottom line...Subie is back up and running and we can now give back that awful Volkswagen. I should not be so hard on the car...it can't help how it was designed. It certainly had pep and was "fun" to drive....but I'm VERY happy to have my Subaru back.
Which brings me up to the topic of an AA meeting....for Subaru owners. As much as I gush over this brand of car....I imagine I look quite silly with it breaking all the time. Cheryl was doing research and found that there are forums filled with similar stories and "Deal Breakers" or "Fatal Catastrophes" that force Subie owners to give up the ham. Only to buy another Subaru. Like a battered wife that continues to go back.... Why? How can I deal with the embarrassment?
(Weak quiet applause)
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
The plan was simple: Limp Subie to the mechanic and get him fixed. I managed to get him home from Iowa City two days ago... I should be able to get him back there in a similar fashion.
Well, Subie's condition did not change. I managed to get it started, and we managed to get it moving. He was sluggish with the acceleration, but at times, managed to get to 60 MPH.
The problem was the hills. Cheryl noted the rather steep hill at Cosgrove Rd. For a brief moment, I actually thought I could take it. I wanted to avoid the "busy" road of Hyw 1, so I really wanted to stay to the back farm roads. But....
Subie never made it up that hill. He did not stall, mind you. He simply refused to climb. I have no clue what was going on. So...off to plan B.
Somehow, the busy roads were more forgiving than I thought. We nearly had to push him through the final intersection before the auto shop, but Subie managed it on his own. Yeah!
That being said, I was not eager to have to go through that again! The Auto place was booked up for the day and the guy said he might be able to see it last thing..... Subie was staying the night.
Fortunately for us, the guy loaned us his Volkswagen Bug. It is a manual, so I was excited to give it a go. It as been a while since Misty Dawn Subie died, and I have not had the opportunity to drive a stick since then.
|Volkswagen Shifter. Really?|
German Engineering! Is not everything people think it is. And let me simply say that I will stick with my Subaru. I remember hearing a car critic say that everything in a Subaru simply "makes sense!" It's true! Everything is right where you think it should be. But not so in a Volkswagen.
|Makes more sense!|
I was having trouble with the shifter. I thought it was unusual that the reverse was so close to first gear. Not wanting to accidentally slip it in reverse, I found the far left gear and slid over one. Only problem with that is....that was third gear!
I vaguely remember watching a youtube video where they mentioned this. I thought,"So what? What's the big deal?" And then it happened to me. Thankfully I did not burn out the clutch trying to get the car rolling from third gear.
Still, I had to back out of the parking space from HyVee. I simply tried every gear and still could not find Reverse! Because Reverse.....is directly UNDER FIRST GEAR! You have to push down...( something not even hinted at anywhere on the stick!) and then slip it into first gear...waiting for the R gear to catch. Very strange and annoying....
After figuring that out, I was able to shift things normally, But WOW! Way to make your first time Volkswagen users feel and look stupid! I don't like a car that is so elitist that I can't figure out how to start or shift it simply by using common sense.
Other than that, Cheryl ran 13.5 miles today. What else could we do? Our car is sick, our cat is injured, our bank account continues to dwindle over things we have no control over. What better way to run out the demons than to run...run far.... run long.
|Flock of Deer run across the trail|
We were blessed with some wildlife sightings today. Eagles and deer abound! Trying to capture either of them is still a challenge with the Smart phone. But it is still better than the old Nikon.
|Behind the lovely bush...|
|The ONLY one with leaves still attached.|
|On the way back, Eagle gained a friend.|
Monday, January 16, 2017
|Ice coats the landscape|
|Neighbor had to walk in the grass|
|Subie would not want to go out in this...|
|We decide to walk to Casey's for coffee and donuts.|
The ice makes a cool crunching sound when you walk on the grass. The temps are currently falling and it has continued to rain all day. I'm hoping that the salt trucks clear things up and the ice does not form up again for tomorrow. Fingers crossed!
|It makes the trees look like they are dipped in sugar.|
|Laundry room painted!|
Hope everyone else is surviving the ice storm...if you live around here anyway. If not, maybe you can share some of that sunshine and warmer temps with us. Share the love!
Sunday, January 15, 2017
|It eventually takes it all back.|
So, it is a nice day. No ice storm yet, and the winds and temps are holding to comfortable levels. It was a great morning to squeeze in a run before the storm.
Cheryl ran through the woods and up the hills. A shorter route, but hilly and challenging. Sometimes a little change from the usual routine is a good thing.
While on the run, we discuss our plans to travel to Boston for the Marathon. We have ruled out the plane.... so it is down to train or bus. We Briefly considered taking the car. But Cheryl correctly, in my opinion, listed all the things we would have to take into account and the time and costs that would not be immediately obvious. Subie is old. The distance is long. Tolls! Traffic. Parking. etc...
So, to remind us and firmly assure us that Subie does not want to make that trip, he decided to have an "episode." At first there was a "starting issue". Similar to a car that has been flooded. This is not normal. But he started up just fine after a few attempts. But then his acceleration was lacking.
After a quick moment of panic, it reminded me of several previous car issues. My jeep, Gremlin, and Mazda all had similar feels to them. Each one was different and both the Gremlin and Mazda were fatal!
|check out the rusted cable...|
|He's so proud....|
|He "thinks" he's made it better.|
|So clean and sparkly, but now Exposed|
Ah well. Kids will be kids; cars will be cars; and cats will be cats. What can we mere mortals do about it other than limit the damage and pay for the broken bones.
Hope everyone else is having a fun weekend. I hear it is a Holiday....MLK day I think. And the Ice storm is supposed to hit later today. So we shall most likely stay home and try not to breathe too much air.
Saturday, January 14, 2017
|How fast before Ethan hits the Floor?|
|Putting the handrail back on.|
|Almost completely closed.|
|Hiro sporting his favorite collar.|
He seems to be handling it better than imagined. He bumps into things and has some trouble trying to jump up on the couch. But, for the most part, he is able to eat, drink and use the litter box without any problems.
|A few cuddles here and there|
This episode seems to have awakened a cuddly side of Hiro that even Cheryl has noticed. Normally he is more aloof. But lately, he climbs on laps and sleeps cuddled up with us on the bed. I could get used to that.
|Ok, That's enough....|
I should also note that we sold and completed 6 stockings today. The "After Christmas" orders continue to trickle in and we have had something to do just about every day this year. Thankfully the orders are small and we can knock them out rapidly. After that Christmas Rush, we are thankful for the break.
Hope everyone is having a good weekend. Tomorrow, it is supposed to rain and then freeze. A good day to hole up and hide out in sleepy little Wellman Iowa. Stay warm!
Thursday, January 12, 2017
|Cheryl and Hiro in matching outfits.|
|He looks quiet now, Just wait...|
|After the Vet, Hiro retires for the day!|
|Sunny and warm still, Let's run!|
The warm-ish weather held out for us and we decided to fit in our long run at the Kewash Trail. There are a few things to remember when running in warm-er weather that is above freezing. That is: the ground melts.
|Looks like the bike needs a bath|
|Kind of muddy...|
|Cheryl says I can't go inside like that.|
|Looks like I do too!|
And today, I spent a little time trying to paint the hallway. I was supposed to work on this on Monday, But the cat and the Universe got in my way somehow. Typical of all of my best laid plans. Like that time I was going to be an astronaut.... (Why do people ask children what they want to be wen they grow up? Just to laugh? )
|The extension helps with the high stuff|
|Only one side for now.|
I managed to make some headway. I'll have to work on the other side later...and possibly break out the ladder for the high edges. So far things look ok, so I'm encouraged.
|Hiro's wound: Looks bad, but is better.|